SDM College of Engineering and Technology was established in 1979 and was affiliated to Karnatak University, Dharwad from commencement till 1998. Since then it has been affiliated to the Visveswaraiah Technological University , Belgaum. It is the first Institute of North Karnataka, India to get accreditation for all its courses by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA), New Delhi. The SDMCET campus is known by name of Dhavalagiri.
SDMCET, founded in 1979, ranks among the top 5% (91 out of 1350) of Indian engineering colleges. As per the survey by Competition Success Review and GHRDC done in 2009, SDMCET stands 38<sup>th</sup> in the list of Engineering Colleges of Excellence in India.
SDMCET ranked 24th among the top 50 private engineering colleges of India published by the Mint (The Wall Street Journal) in 2009.